THE SOURCE - Summer 2016 - (Page 22)

legislative outlook Legislative Efforts Derailed for 2016? Presidential Election and Supreme Court Justice May Lead to Just That By scott morrison and Dan Lapato T he chaotic presidential election season with the rise of antiestablishment republican front-runner, Donald Trump, combined with the recent death of supreme Court Justice Antonin scalia may derail many legislative efforts for the rest of the year. Congress will be out of session for much of the year given the election and floor activity will be carefully planned in terms of its potential impact on republican members up for re-election and its impact on the presidential race. In addition, the clear but not overwhelming victory of Donald Trump on super Tuesday puts the republican Party in the difficult position of how to deal with Donald Trump as the likely nominee for the party. many in the party are strongly opposed to such a development and that includes most republicans on Capitol Hill who may get drawn into the presidential fray either to slow or stop Donald Trump, or to deal with a brokered convention in the event that Trump has the majority of delegates, but not enough to become the outright nominee-thus taking time away from Congress. similarly, the death of Justice scalia has ignited a firestorm of controversy. republicans argue that the President shouldn't nominate anyone, as the next President should be the one to nominate a replacement to ensure that the people have a say in the lifetime appointment. Democrats and the President counter that the Constitution requires the President to nominate a replacement, that the people spoke in 2012 about who should select the next supreme Court justice, and that it would be unprecedented for Congress not to at least hold hearings on whomever the nominee will be, regardless of whether or not they ultimately accept or reject him or her. On February 16, President Obama nominated Chief Judge merrick Garland of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as a replacement. Judge Garland is known as a moderate jurist with a respect for judicial precedent and an incrementalism approach to changes in law. senate republican leadership has rejected his nomination and any meetings or hearing on his nomination. moderate republican senators have been a bit more measured with some calling for meetings and a hearing on his nomination given his position as a moderate and as many are in tough reelection campaigns in which refusing to even meet with a supreme Court nominee might not be well received by the electorate. It remains unclear whether Judge Garland will ultimately receive a hearing, but a good indicator of forward momentum would 22 THE SOURCE | THE vOICE and CHOICE Of pUblIC gaS be moderate republicans up for election in 2016 actually meeting with him. Given these developments, congressional ambitions will likely be scaled back even from where the agenda stood in January. Originally, the House and senate pledged to get back to regular order on appropriations bills by passing all 12 individually, rather than passing an omnibus at the end of the year. That now seems unlikely. Given these limitations on Congress, it remains unclear what if any legislation can pass both chambers and make it to the President's desk. However, there are a few important items that will receive floor time including pipeline safety, energy bills, and the furnace rule. Pipeline safety has been a rare bipartisan issue that has actually been passed over the years with little trouble. This year is no different as both the senate and House have made progress on the reauthorization of pipeline safety

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2016

First Person
APGA Events
Expanding Your Network Through the Virtual Pipeline
Major Mergers
Q&A: Barry Russell
The Very Different Field of Commercial Foodservice Research and Development
Can Natural Gas Stay Cheap Forever This Time?
Home Fueling for Natural Gas Vehicles
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Summer 2016